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Q 1. Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.

Ans: We are located in Roswell, Georgia. We are fast becoming the go to gift shop for your entire gift giving needs. We can take care of you with jewelry, flower and cards. Baby, collegiate and everything in between. We only have one location that has grown from 800 sq/ft to 2400 sq/ft.
At Christmas time we produce handcrafted wreaths, arrangements and mailbox huggers. Audrey and Barbara started doing crafts shows 30+ years ago and were very successful! We knew that if we opened our business at Christmas time that we would survive because we knew we could produce beautiful wreaths at a great price!!! We just had a customer comment that it is hard to find BEAUTIFUL handcrafted wreaths as a decent price!! She walked out the door with her find!!

Q 2. Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).

Ans: Audrey and Barbara have raised 9 children between the 2 of them Audrey has 5 children and Barbara 4! Audrey has a degree in Pharmacy from UGA and Barbara graduated from UGA with a Computer Science degree. Barbara and Audrey have both worked in the corporate world. Audrey managed a Home Health Care Staffing Agency for 18 years. Barbara started her career at Lockheed Martin Company and then ended working for Audrey at StaffBuilders Home Health Care Company. After Audrey retired for 1 year, she decided that she was ready for the next adventure. She and Barbara decided to open the shop!!

Q 3. What inspired you to (start a new business venture) or (to make significant changes in an existing business)? How did the idea for your business come about?

Ans: We had always wanted to have a gift shop. It was our passion and after raising children and having careers we decided we had time to devote to our own business. We wrote our story as we went along. We grew slowly and had benchmarks we had to meet before pursuing our dream further. If it didn’t work we were prepared to close it down.

Q 5. What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Ans: Our advice to budding entrepreneurs is to make sure you have the time and resources to commit to your passion. Life pulls you in many directions and you do not w

ant to sacrifice life at all cost to pursue your dream. Dreams do not pay off immediately and you have to have income or savings to live off of while you build your business, throwing more money at a problem does not fix it. Listen to your customers. They will tell you what they want to see in your store. Always have an exit strategy if the business is not growing at a profitable rate!

Q 6. What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Ans: Top three skills: management of time, money and employees. Having a plan every day of what will be accomplished with the time you have. Managing your company’s money to verify you have the reserves to get you through the slow times and also get ready for the peak times. Management of employees who become your family to help your business grow. If you do not have the right employees working with you then you have to have the skills of letting them go if it is not a good fit.

Q 7. How many hours do you work a day on average?

Ans: We work an average of 8 – 10 hours a day or more during the peak season.
When we worked in the corporate work it was the same amount.

Q 8. To what do you most attribute your success?

Ans: We attribute our success to luck and putting our faith in Gods will.

Q 9. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Ans: We have tried different forms of Marketing. We have done mailings, newspaper ads, etc…
Our best form of marketing was collecting emails from our customers so we could keep in touch!!! We also like to give presentations to garden clubs or womens groups! This is a great way to tell our story and introduce people to our store!!!

Q 10. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

Ans: The banks are not a way to start your business. They only will lend you money if you have personal capital to put up against your business, Therefore we stated small with a $5,000 a piece investment. We were not looking to rack up debt to make the business work. As we made money, we reinvested it!. We got to know our demographics and what our customers wanted. It made us more successful buyers. We do not have outside investors.

Q 11. What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Ans: Follow your business. Be aware of all aspects of the business In our case we check the numbers, markets, new trends.

Q 12. Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Ans: In 5 – 10 years we see our store in a bigger space, doubled inventory and a progressive online business,

Q 13. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Ans: Swoozies: They have a beautiful store and a great online business.

Q 14. How important have good employees been to your success?

Ans: Good employees are everything. It takes time to find the right family!!! They are priceless.

Q 15. How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Ans: You can tell pretty quick if something is working or not.

Q 16. What motivates you?

Ans: Sales. Increased revenue is a huge motivator and happy customers who become part of your community circle. It is easy when you enjoy going to work!!

Q 17. What are your ideals?

Ans: The Golden rule.

Q 18. How do you generate new ideas?

Ans: Generate new ideas: Listen to our customers and employees and have an open mind.

Q 19. How do you define success?

Ans: Be willing to take a chance, whether you succeed or fail!!
In the retail business it is defined by dollars. Otherwise it is a Hobby.

Q 20. How do you build a successful customer base?

Ans: We make sure we are around to meet the customer. Let the customer know how much we appreciate their business. We also want our employees to engage with the customer and let them know that we are here to help and we appreciate their business. We are small business so therefore our customers appreciate the service and personal attention they receive from small business.

Q 21. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

Ans: Our favorite part of being an entrepreneur is knowing the time and effort we put into this business is for future rewards. That the hard work and effort will pay off for years to come, not just for the paycheck at the end of the week.

Q 22. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Ans: The most satisfying moment in the business: Meeting goals, making sales quota. We also feel like we have a mission to reach out to people that come in the door. Gifts are for all reasons and we take time to let our customers tell their story. Sometimes we are amazed at the life experiences our customers have shared with us!!! We also love taking care of the dads with kids in tow who were told by their wife to come to our shop. Dad went to the wrong shop at first because he thought he knew where it was. As he was talking with the clerk he knew he was in the wrong place. He finally made it to our shop and we were able to let him know a couple of things his wife was interested in and he was out the door with an accomplished feeling and knowing she would be happy with her gift!!! Yeah!!!

Q 23. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

Ans: Sometimes those who work for someone else are entrepreneurs in training. You have to gain some business experience before you can start off on your own. But there is a difference between someone who enjoys their job and those who don’t. Always work with a passion.

Q 24. What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

Ans: We have an open door policy. We are very respective to our employees and open to customer’s suggestions (negative or positive). We value our customers and employees, without them we would not be successful..
It is our personality. We take our senior staff on nights out. We bring treats in to the shop and have incentive bonuses.

Company Details:

Client Name         Barbara Rowe
Url                        http://findlayrowedesigns.com/
Company name    Findlay Rowe Designs LLC
Address               1030 Woodstock Road Suite 3114
City                      Roswell
State                     GA
Zip Code              30075
Tel No                 (678) 205 3300
E-mail Id              findlayrowe@gmail.com

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